Britain discusses Norway attacks, far-right downplays links

25th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain's National Security Council was meeting Monday to discuss the mass killing in Norway, as a British far-right group denied reports that it had links with the self-confessed perpetrator.

The council, which includes senior ministers, military chiefs and the heads of the intelligence services, would "look at the lessons to be learned from this", Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Sunday.

At least seven people were killed in a car bomb blast outside government buildings in Oslo on Friday and, hours later, and scores were shot dead on the nearby island of Utoeya.

London's Metropolitan Police said Sunday it had sent an officer to Norway "who is liaising with the Norwegian police." Britain has experience of dealing with terror attacks, having been targeted numerous times in the past.

Media reports on Monday said that the killer, Anders Behring Breivik, had links to the British far-right and claimed to have been in touch with the English Defence League (EDL).

But the EDL, which campaigns against Islamic extremism in Britain, denied in a statement late Sunday it had any "official contact" with the 32-year-old.

"We can categorically state that there has never been any official contact between him and the EDL, our Facebook page had 100,000 supporters and receives tens of thousands of comments each day," it said in a statement.

"And there is no evidence that Brievik was ever one of those 100,000 supporters."

It claimed the Norwegian had in fact talked about the EDL in a negative light, saying: "It couldnt be made any clearer that Brievik did not like the way the EDL was a peaceful organisation."

Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that Behring Breivik claimed in an online manifesto to have been recruited by far-right extremists at a 2002 meeting in London.

© 2011 AFP

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